Sunday, January 3, 2010

I tried. to like you

I'm a reader. My top spot in the shopping mall is the book store ( next to kedai makan and the cinema). My almari is jammed with clothes..and books. I must read at least 1 book/novel per month.
So when Runner's World stated that Once A Runner is " The best novel ever written about running " , I knew I couldn't miss out.

Hub felt it was a waste of time and resources to drive all the way to KL to hunt for the book, which he thought we would never find.So he decided to order in online instead, along with some other books he wanted. Hub was so constantly tracking the packages, it drove me nuts.
So when the box finally arrived, we were elated. Got more excited about Once A Runner after opening one of the books entitled " The Runner's Rule Book" which wrote under Rule 1.19 that " If you're a runner, you must love Once A Runner". Here are the excerpts from that 'rule' :

John L Parker's seminal novel Once A Runner, about a young miler named Quenton Cassidy is, uh..seminal.
 This means , basically, that if you are a runner, you must love Once A Runner. There's simply no other option.
 So even if you have never read it, or you tried to read it and frankly didn't care for it, you must speak of OAR in hushed, reverential tones. Here's a few choice phrases to use when discussing the books with fellow runners
" Classic"
" Best book about running ever written"
 You want to tell the truth about Once A Runner? That you made it to page 39, found it dull, and gave up, opting instead to watch some TV?
 Fine. Before you do, know that the federal witness protection program does not cover OAR disparagers. Just FYI.

( I find this hilarious)

Well peeps, I read. And read on. And toiled.
In truth, I tried to like it. Swear I did. But I didn't.
Boringnya, MasyaAllah.

And I got to page 39 and it was still boring so I thought," Maybe it's like this in the beginning and it'll get better" The worse thing is, instead of opting to watch some TV, I considered  finishing off Eclipse. ( which I was also toiling to finish - I find it lame tapi kena habiskan jugak sebab dah beli).

OAR sucked to me probably  because:

1. The paragraphs goes on and on and on describing God-knows-what that you finally forget what the author is trying to say in the first place

2. The storyline is set in the 70's so maybe I couldn't relate ( perasan muda)

3. All the main characters are overachievers who wins at practically every competition they enter.

4. Main characters only care for training, running, training, running. No other interest. Period. No wives, no kids, no other hobbies, no parents, no life. Oh, there's this brief description of some girlfriends, tu pun I guess added as a comic relief ( tapi boring nevertheless)

5. There's this prank the hero played on his nemesis but the author decided to describe the whole thing in one long chapter which is so unnecessary because I dozed off at the end jugak. ( Pranks are supposed to be fun).

6. Major characters all have goals to do sub 4 minutes per mile which made me feel..urm ..uh..a bit insignificant.

And I'm only halfway through.
( And skipped a few pages)

Hubs didn't believe me. He thought I didn't appreciate art. I tried to prove my point by swapping books with him. He was reading Born To Run ( for the 5th time).

A day later I asked his verdict.
" You're right " he said.
" I'm always right" I said.

So now I'm reading Born to Run which is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy better and recommendable.
And I'm only on the 10th page.

P/S Did 22 K for LSD this week.With a flu. Got through it all alive. See, still breathing..hins hins.


  1. try reading (and applying) 'ChiRunning' ... it's so heartbreaking!! p/s whatever it means :)

  2. I've never read Once a Runner (or heard of it to be honest) but born to run is AWESOME. Love it. I also love this short story called The Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner (there's a poem with that title as well) but since it's not set in the modern times maybe you wouldn't like it. There's a YA novel as well called The Truth About Racing that is utterly heartbreaking, about a girl who was a runner and whose dad died while he was running and she completely stopped running... you've got to read it. Also Run, Gracie, Run is about a runner from her pet dog's point of view... so sweet and totally endearing.

  3. TCA : I saw ChiRunning once at MPH Midvalley but didn't have the chance to belek as my girl dragged me to the Dora the Explorer section. Will be in my to read list definitely.
    Tolldoll : Maybe I should rephrase #2. Thing is, I have no problems reading stories set at any time base but the point is, make it interesting. But about those other books you've mentioned : will also definitely be on my to-read list. Beli kat mana ek?

  4. tak penah baca Once A Runner. But finished this heartbreaking story - The Running Man - Gilbert Tuhabonye. Set in Africa and a true story, it was an awesome read, although not technical. Happy reading!

  5. Am I the only one who doesn't read running books? Hahaha…Runner's World posted an excerpt or maybe it was a chapter of the Once A Runner. You are not alone, I found it totally boring as well because I couldn't relate to the story.

    And by the way, The Reader is a very good movie. I enjoyed the story. I like the ending.

  6. Amsyah : will try to cari that book too!
    Kak Kash : I am so GLAD someone else feels the book is a major bore too!
    Thanks everyone for your recommendations.

  7. Ultramarathon Man, citer pasal Dean Karnazes. Baru tahu betapa human nya dia when he first started running.

    Yup, sometimes when we cannot relate to the characters it's a bit boring. That's why I suka baca blogs/articles pasal everyday people with day jobs and families but also have this other life called running. Kalau citer pasal elites pun I tak ter-inspired sangat, hahaha, becoz they are elites with sponsors and agents and whatnots.

    Have you watched The Spirit of The Marathon? I think you can relate to this one better.

  8. Nope..never watched The Spirit of The Marathon but I like to watch those past Olympic Highlights on ESPN every weekend..esp bab track n field..mmg menaikkkan semangat

  9. Bagus ni..can be my sleeping pill incase i hv trouble to sleep.hehe

    My new year resolution to at least read 1 book a month. I mean english book la. Cite2 novel jiwang2 melayu tak kira ya. Kata nak improve english kan. :)

    Tapi dah nak masuk 1/2 bulan new year. Belum beli lagi 1 pun . But i aiming for this book about running at Popular.Ape tah tajuk dia. Later i let u know.

  10. hi julin,
    sorry nyampuk, hehe
    my friend has recommended me to read this book by the great japanese writer Haruki Murakami, but i havent had the time to do it yet..

    the book entitled 'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running'.. i googled bout the book and discovered the book has gotten much rave reviews..

    maybe this worths a read..

  11. yes, heard about that. I'm trying to get myself a copy too..thanks :)